The Coconut Federation of Ghana (C.F.G) declared its advantage of the various government inventiveness to boost the export of the fruit if given the opportunity.
The proposed total growth in the coconut industry is clinched at US$15 billion by 2024.
The Federation voiced through the National Tree Crop Development Authority (NTCDA), it would aid accelerate Ghana’s position for an appreciable share of the global coconut industry by generating jobs, businesses and livelihood opportunities along the Ghanaian coconut value chain.
The National President of the Federation, Mr. Patrick Ndabiah, speaking at a press briefing, hailed His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the extraordinary improvement and commitment to expand the Ghanaian Coconut Industry.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development were also complimented for the effective collaboration towards the accomplishment of the Planting for Export, Rural Development Programme and the establishment of Authority.
The Birth of the NTCDA seeks to formalise the tree crop value-chain, develop and institutionalise effective regulatory schemes, mainly driven by the Ghanaian private sector and it is expected to also develop and regulate production, processing, marketing and export of Coconut, Oil Palm, Cashew, Mango, Rubber and Shea.
He said the contribution of the coconut industry to the development of many economies had proven to be an indispensable tool towards many poverty reduction efforts.
The National President said the utilization and alternative uses of coconut had received the highest acceptance and recognition all over the world and every part of the commodity had become a key support for many businesses, ranging from automobile, food, cosmetics and to the agri-tourism industries alongside other household consumables.
“Coconut agribusiness has finally become the main livelihood support for many people especially the Ghanaian farmers,” he added.
Mr Ndabiah said the Ghanaian coconut industry had struggled to gain recognition of policy and decision-makers over the years, in the wake of high incidence of large coconut farms wiped off by the Cape Saint Paul’s Wilt (CSPW) disease, weak marketing and pricing regimes, poor access to farm inputs especially CSPW resistant planting materials.
He said the coconut actors in Ghana were left to their fate struggling through their activities with no support system thereby becoming vulnerable to other patrons of coconut produce, products, and its derivatives.
“Many farmers abandoned their farms, others diversified from coconut and coconut dependent businesses struggled to break even,” he added.
He said with the strong collaboration between the Federation and other key stakeholders, the coconut industry would become the fastest growing industry to achieve the US$2billion annual target within the shortest possible time.
The National President said it had come at a good time and brought a sigh of great to relieve when the authority was established to address the major bottlenecks and constraints along the Ghanaian coconut value chain.
He said they would continue to engage with government on how to supply farmers with highly improve and disease-resistant seedlings to boost production because the current diseases affecting the seedlings would not help in actualizing their dreams.
He called on the government to build the capacity of the value-chain actors in the coconut industry and provide production funding and certifications for farmers to enable them to compete globally.
Meanwhile, the Federation inaugurated its National Executives as Mr Patrick Ndabiah- National President, Mr Ahmed Saaka- First Vice (Operations), Mr Kwaku Boateng- Second Vice(Administration), Ms Karen Beecham- Third Vice (Finance), Mr Kojo Nunoo- Fourth Vice (Welfare), Mr Ofori Ampofo Acquaye- General Secretary and Mr Douglas Quartey- Deputy General Secretary.
The rest are Mr. Delali Ahiafor- Financial Secretary, Mr Eric Opoku Agyei- Organising Secretary, Mr Wilson Delali Agyemang and John Nanabanyin as Communications Secretaries and Ms Sena Ampawu-Bri as General Treasurer.
Source: Link Online Gh
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